The Ottoman Empire Essay

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The Ottoman Empire

Around 1293 the chieftain of a nomadic Turkish tribe named Osman, founded an empire that would endure almost six hundred years. As this empire grew by conquering lands of the Byzantine Empire and beyond, it came to include, at its height, all of Asia Minor, Albania, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania, Egypt, Crete, Cyprus, Palestine, and North Africa through Algeria; parts of Hungry, Austria, Russia, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Oman, U.A.E., and Syria. The elite tactics and fearsome fighting of the well trained Janissary Corps helped make the Ottoman Empire one of the largest in the world's history. -1- The first "army" of the Ottoman Empire was made up Gazis, Turkish faith fighters. They were effective against small
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VonHamer-Purgstal 773) These Janissary warriors were mostly composed of Christians or Jews who had converted to Islam. They were brought up in the Janissary camp from about the age of 5. They were trained to be fearsome warriors, although some were trained to be administrators. Most of the Janissary soldiers were in the cavalry. The cavalry was one of the main keys to the Ottoman's many victories. The Janissary Corp's soldiers were paid with a regular salary now that the country was established and taxes were collected. "Orhan's [son of Osman, the founder of the Ottoman Empire] capture of Bursa in 1324 provided the first means for developing the administrative, financial, and military power necessary to make this principality into a real state and create an army" ( J. F. von Hamer-Pugstall 773). The Janissary Corps were the most awesome force that Europe had contended with for centuries. They were the most fearsome fighters to attack Europe since Gengis Khan's Golden Hordes. They fought like well trained animals. "Orhan soon was able to capture the remaining Byzantine towns in north- western Antola: Iznik(1331), Izmit(1337), and Uskudar(1338)" (J. F. von Hamer-Pugstall 771). -3- "Murad conquered Thorace, northwest of Constantinople in 1361. He moved the capital to Adrianople" ( J. F. von Hamer-Pugstall 772). The Ottomans were not always expanding by means of war and conquest. They also gained territory through marriage and purchases. "Bayezed extended the empire in